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Getting started

laptopWelcome to Gransnet forums, the home of Gransnet's discussions.

Before you dive in (and we hope you will, with enthusiasm), we thought you might like a little guided tour of how the forums work and and how to make them work for you. When you've finished reading, you can return to the forums.


 How forums are organised | How do I join? | How do I post? | What are the rules? | How do you post smileys and links? | Can I change the way I view discussion threads? | How do I search the forums? | What do all those acronyms mean? | What if I get stuck?

How forums are organised

Gransnet talk is divided into a range of topics, such as Chat, Learning, Feminism, In The News, Relationships and more. You can see the full range on our list of forum topics.

In each topic you will find various conversations, or threads. Click once on the title to read the whole discussion. 

You can also look at a list of the current most active conversations on Gransnet by clicking the "Active" button on the forums page, under the "Gransnet forums" heading. This is a good way to get a flavour of the range of issues gransnetters are talking about. 

Anyone with web access can read the Forum discussions on Gransnet. But to add messages (or posts) to existing discussions and create new discussions, you need to sign up as a Gransnet member.

How do I join?

To post on the Forums, you need to sign up to Gransnet (it's free) and choose a username, which is the name that your messages will appear to come from. We have a username system to protect your privacy. No pressure, but individual and witty is always good.

How do I post?

To post a message to an existing discussion, click on the Add comment link over the title or above any post. This will take you down to the bottom of the discussion to an Add your message here box. Type your wise words into the box and, if you aren't already logged in, fill in your Gransnet username and password in the boxes underneath the message box.

Tips for First Timers:

Other things you might like...
  • Before you post for the first time, spend some time looking through threads to help you see the best/worst/funniest sides of Gransnet.
  • Avoid writing a post USING ALL CAPITALS, or people may think you're shouting.
  • Use paragraphs.
  • Remember that anyone, anywhere, can Google everything posted, so it's not a good idea to post identifying info or email addresses.
  • Don't be frightened to ask how things are done. Other gransnetters will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.

If you want to see how your message will look before it goes on the board, click the Preview message button (then correct the message if you need to). To post your message right away (or after you’ve read the preview), click the Post message button.

To start a discussion of your own, find yourself the most appropriate Topic, click to get in, then click on Start a new discussion. Write your thoughts in the box and give your thread a title (so people can tell at a glance what you want to talk about. Being specific will help to attract other people with the same interest. 

Links and "Smileys"

We have our own set of smileys or emoticons, plus a set of shortcuts to allow you to bold or italicise words or even cross them out (for comic effect). To find them - with instructions on how to put them into your posts – look underneath the Add your message here box.

What are the rules?

When writing your messages, please use the same courtesy you'd show when speaking face-to-face with someone.

Our policy is to keep intervention to a minimum (we don't have formal moderators) and let the conversation flow. Having said that, we will remove postings that are obscene, contain personal attacks or break the law. For more on this, see our Netiquette page

Can I change the way I view discussion threads?

You can see the most recent posts first by clicking the 'flip' button, and see the entire thread on one page by clcking "see all." You can permanently change these options by clicking on 'customise' in the green bar at the top of every thread.

If there's a specific post in a thread you'd like to come back to later, hover over it until you see the blue "Bookmark" box. Click that, and when you return to the thread, you'll be taken straight to the post.

How do I search the forums?

You can search Gransnet forums in lots of different ways:

  • Most active: A list of the threads that have been created/posted on most recently.
  • Discussions of the day: find them at the top right of every page – threads that we think you might find interesting/amusing/maddening.
  • Search forums: allows you to search by keyword. You do need to be logged in to use it. Find it under Discussions of the day on the right-hand side of the page.

There is also a line of handy links on every page under the Gransnet Forums headline:

  • Active: Organises the threads by how recently gransnetters have been on them.
  • I'm on: A list of the threads that you have posted on.
  • Watching: Threads you've elected to watch (by clicking the green button on the top right of the discussion)
  • Unanswered: A list of threads that only have an opening post. Feel free to respond if you can!
  • Last hour: Organised by activity in the last hour.
  • Last day: Organised by activity in the last day.

What do all those acronyms mean?

You might have noticed that our forums are peppered with references to DiLs, DHs and AIBUs, along with many more nifty acronyms. If you're wondering what it all means, you can read our guide here

What if I'm still stuck?

If you experience any difficulties, do email us at [email protected] or post a message in Site stuff (where other members may be able to help you out if we're not around).